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The changing of the seasons...


 
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Adamn Greathead
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 44
Location: West Midlands

PostPosted: Fri Dec 01, 2006 6:10 pm    Post subject: The changing of the seasons... Reply with quote

Advent started yesterday and we still haven't experienced a real good frost here. Obviously the seasons are changing. Spring is becoming increasingly later than usual and does not often awake from its winter slumber until well into the month of May. And because of this we gardeners are made to wait for beauties such as daffodils and tulips to appear, all bulbous plants that i, in vain, have doused the borders with quietly confident that next May will be a riot of colour. Until then, we shall have to wait in desperation, will they flower when i want them to flower? In this ever changing world in which we live in is there even a set time for when they can flower anymore? After all with global warming and the like more or less every plant is going to be kicked out of place by another which can cope with the slow start of the year and the grand finale at the end.
Seeing as christmas is fast approaching i find myself reminicsing. This year has flown by and it has been hard to put a specific date on the seasons because of this. For instance: we started with a late spring but warm nevertheless. We were then proved wrong when a sudden spell of cold weather hit the U.K and this is where i suffered. I fell victim to planting out a few plants earlier this year due to the accumilating excitement that i brim with as soon as we start a new year. So in March i would have sown several plants such as pumpkins and squashes into pots and eagerly awaited their germination; it didn't take long before they were up and through and growing away nicely. Then however, temptation struck: they had grown so well that they had grown too big for their pots and to get the most nutrition they would have to be planted outside. Rather stupidly, i obliged and out they went but they were blasted with frost however, luckily they recovered suffering only a slight check in growth. It was after this that the real problem became apparent. A plant cropping profusively soon turned into the host of several rotten embryonic fruits which were by no means destined to grow. Perseverance did prevail though and a few weeks ago i was the proud owner of 10-12 solid pumpkins and i was, and still am, stuffed full of courgettes and marrows. If i see another marrow next year it will be too soon.
The vegetable garden, this year, secretly developed into an exotic exquisitness. It produced huge bumper harvests of red and green peppers, juicy plum tomatoes and grapes. As some of this is down to the summer becoming warmer it is also typical of a wet summer and this summer has been a mix of both. I can quite easily remember working in a garden where the lawn was as parched as parcel paper and neither spade nor fork could penetrate it. This happened to be around the 31st July and at a time when runner beans across the country were struggling to produce a decent set and the birch trees enclosing the vegetable garden had already lost half their leaves. In fact the same birch trees had developed another flush of foliage and have only just shed those in the past few weeks. Now, i can see this being a drastic problem for us when such arid weather batters all our parks and gardens, depleting our native trees and hedges through an unstoppable drought. It is hard to believe that a month previous to this the weather was dispeakable and thrust cold and wet weather over us. I can visualise it now as it was the gardeners world live weekend and you couldn't walk comfortably without an umbrella or a raincoat.
If that wasn't enough, autumn 2006 lasted longer than ever. Trees held on tight to their foliage strongly refusing to let them go. I cannot complain about a dry autumn because i love it when the trees cling to their leaves which, by now, have taken the hues of red, yellow, copper and fiery orange yet this one did seem to linger abit too long. It also fixed a period of warm weather over the country and we, here, didn't experience the first hoar frost until November 1st. This may not seem late to some of you but when you have Heleniums, Cannas, Hedychiums and cosmos astrosanguineus in full bloom it proves to contribute to the annoyance factor.
I have spent the past week or so preparing for several christmas events which a i appear at so this meant that most of my time has been committed to planting pots and making holly wreaths. Making christmas wreaths is a job i loathe and yet each year it seems to come around quicker, obviously the seasons are changing!
The vegetable garden has more or less culminated with only about 100 broad beans to be planted this weekend. I grew them in trays as usual to thwart any slugs and snails and also to give them a head start so we can indulge in fresh broad beans even earlier than the neighbours. As a rule i plant the dwarf variety 'Sutton' however, i fancied a change this year and have opted with 'Aquadulce claudia' a variety whose reputation arrives before itself. It is a magnificent hardy grower and produces long slender pods with up to 8 beans in each. With 8 in a pod and an average of 20 pods per plant i think this household shall not go without broad beans. It will be too late now to plant broad beans if you haven't already done so but, saying this, if you sow some now in the greenhouse or coldframe they will be ready to plant out in January and will give you not an early harvest but an earlier harvest. So now i have left you with a job to do and i am going to go and plant those beans before they outgrow their trays!
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mdvaden
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree


Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 53
Location: Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 05, 2006 1:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking of gardens........

Do you enjoy preparing and cultivating soil?

Any favorite method?

I double-dig my gardens, and enjoy repeating that each year.

Do you like raised beds? Level beds?

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M. D. Vaden of Oregon

Coast Redwoods

Medford Landscape Design & Trees

Medford & Rogue Valley Photographer
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Adamn Greathead
Rank attained: Hazel Tree
Rank attained: Hazel Tree


Joined: 12 Sep 2006
Posts: 44
Location: West Midlands

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 4:19 pm    Post subject: Preferred methods Reply with quote

I wouldn't be without my garden not only because it is a passion but it keeps me fit and healthy. In fact, an hour in the garden is better than two in the gym!
I religiously dig my vegetable garden, finding the 'no-dig' method a road to avoid. As you mention yourself, i find double digging to be the preferred method and every year i can be seen, somewhere btween November and February, double digging my way to victory. And i firmly believe that it is good for all the senses too.
I have grown in both raised beds and flat beds and found that both provide marvellous results- after all it is down to personal preference.

Best Wishes
Adam
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mdvaden
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree
Rank attained: Hawthorn Tree


Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 53
Location: Oregon, USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply, Adamn.

It's wonderful to hear that you enjoy you time in the garden so much.

I'm sure we'll be able to hear more about what you are growing soon.

Very Happy

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M. D. Vaden of Oregon

Coast Redwoods

Medford Landscape Design & Trees

Medford & Rogue Valley Photographer
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